Hindsight is always 20/20, but no one could have predicted what happened on Wednesday night between the Dodgers and Rays.
Against one of the worst fastball hitting teams, the power arms of Gonsolin and May could not put batters away and it ended up costing the Dodgers in a 6-4 loss that tied the series at 1.
With the depth that the Dodgers have, you have to wonder if the results would have been any different if they went with their ace in Walker Buehler, even on short rest, for Game 2.
After the game, the FOX analyst crew set to work dissecting the game plan for each team and one topic that they focused heavily on was the lack of a knockout punch from the Dodgers.
"You have the resources to out-talent them. You don't have to out-smart them."
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 22, 2020
David Ortiz explains the importance of having that killer mentality in the World Series.
The mentality when you go to the World Series is to finish the opposition up the best way you can. The Dodgers forgot that they were facing an ace, and when you have an ace on your opposition, you want to have an ace on your mound.
Big Papi does make a good point in that the Dodgers knew they were entering a potentially low scoring affair, but there’s more to the argument than just that. Is it fair to judge the Dodgers for not pitching Buehler on 3 days rest when he’s dealing with the lingering blister issue? How about the fact that by saving him for Game 3 they were able to buy him an extra day of rest with an off day on Thursday?
The Dodgers are definitely playing with a conservative approach to try and keep their pitchers as fresh as possible, but Ortiz makes another good point by acknowledging that the playoffs aren’t the time to play games.
.. In the World Series, Frank, you want to attack. You don’t want to be thinking about what’s going to happen the next day, no. You want to be thinking about what’s going to happen today. That’s the only way you get there.
The Dodgers had the opportunity to take an overwhelming 2-0 series lead on the Rays, but they couldn’t capitalize with their bullpen going against a lights-out Blake Snell. Had Buehler pitched instead, we might have a different series, but the keyword is MIGHT.
Because of the nature of the playoffs this year, the Dodgers did not have the usual off days in between series to set up their pitching rotation like they would’ve liked. At the end of the day, however, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin have both been trusted members of this rotation and were more than capable of dominating this Rays offense. They simply didn’t have it, and there wasn’t much Dave Roberts could do but turn to the next man up.
With the series tied at 1 game apiece, the Dodgers will look to Buehler to help them rebound in a critical Game 3 tomorrow night. It won’t be an easy task, as Charlie Morton has been absolutely unhittable thus far in the postseason.
If the Dodgers are to avoid a 2-1 hole, the offense will need to get going much earlier and provide a cushion for Buehler to let loose.